Date: Tue 06 Feb 1996 - 23:52:01 EET
(Sigh) I was about to type something to the effect that I was delurking
again, except I suppose that a few days between posts hardly constitutes
lurking (though I also suppose that lurking is more a frame of mind than
anything else, not dissimilar to being a stalker? Yikes).
A couple of quick comments on the "Lunar version" of Argrath's War, beginning
with an apology of sorts to Phillipe Krait: the digests I have received are
missing the first portion of your (long) anti-Nick piece, so I will attempt
to avoid commenting on things that you wrote that appear to refer to the
missing Part 1of your presentation as per your request, but I'll probably
wind up touching on them by accident.
On a personal note, you wrote:
>I ask myself who is the most perturbed of us, when you take only one
>sentence of my answer in your post as an example. Is the rest so much
>disturbing to you that you have no correct answers ?
No, though at the time I felt the philosophical argument better left to Mr.
Brooke, and I suppose I should have explained that; a possible answer to that
one question lept to my mind, however, and despite having sworn to myself I
would avoid posting to the Digest in detail after the KoW fiasco a while
back, I thought I'd throw my couple of francs in (something I now, indeed,
regret), so I left the rest to Nick and the others. Further, you wrote:
>That is truly a god you want to worship...
>Good, now, as a good worshipper, go sacrifice yourself and trouble us
>no more (:-).
Whatever. I would simply like to point out that I have no personal, vested
interest in either the Lunar Empire and/or the continued success of the Red
Goddess; nor, for that matter, do I have a personal, vested interest in the
victory of Order over Chaos, or in the idea that Argrath is a Hero -- I do
not consider myself one of His minions. I simply find the notion of hidden
layers to Argrath's Saga to be more interesting and satisfying than a
"straight-forward" reading of the tales (something which is almost impossible
to begin with, IMO).
Several general reactions to your well-argued post, then: first off, on a
number of occasions you referred to "historical fact" in supporting your
arguments. A couple of things I would like to point out, all IMO: a) in
Glorantha, there is very little that is set in stone, as the Elmal revelation
demonstrated to considerable effect. It seems clear that Greg is now delving
into the Red Goddess as never before, as Pam Carlson's summary of his
comments at the Con show (many thanks to Pam for posting that, btw), so
alternatives to prepublished material have to remain a possibility. b) I
don't think KoS itself can be considered a purely historical document, given
the inconsistencies in the many stories told about Argrath. They are, in
fact, presented as myth (in a world that no longer has _Myth_), and on a
certain level are as "trustworthy" as historical fact as, say, a collection
of stories about King Arthur. There isn't even certainty about how much time
has passed since the end of the Hero Wars, and "Greg Stafford", the
Harshax-era editor of the collection (as opposed to Greg the RW author), is
only willing to defend a single phrase as being definitevely attributable to
Argrath (and, frankly, there are holes in his argument). These are not texts
on which one can base truth-claims in the traditional sense, IMO, and I think
that Nick's project -- in effect, the excavation of a possible shadow text
between the lines -- is still both defensible and desireable.
In a slightly related topic, I would be curious if you could provide specific
references to the _worship_ of Argrath after his apotheosis, as you seem to
make the continued "worship" of Argrath -- while the Red Goddess has
"disappeared" -- a central point in your argument for an absolute victory;
while I can find references to celebrations in his honor and tales told about
him (most notably in the introduction to the Annotated Argrath's Saga), I can
recall no particular reference to a _cult_ of Arkat in the traditional
Gloranthan sense. In fact, IMO an implication of KoS seems to be (and it
seems as though you agree with this general position) that the cultic
relation between Gods and Men is no longer possible at the time of its
writing. The fact that folks still remember Argrath some 600 - 1000 years
after the Hero Wars doesn't seem to imply much, in so far as they all
remember the Red Goddess as well, even if the culture which produced KoS
prefers to remember Her as a villainess; this does not _in and of itself_
presuppose that others, elsewhere, do not remember Her as the Good Guy. The
fact that the "historical" (pre-Change) Orlanthi cast Yelm as the Evil
Emperor and Orlanth as the Good King Usurper did not prevent "historical"
Sun-Worshippers from reversing those moral positions and providing an almost
completely different version of Yelm's return to the World (a version which
we have only become aware of relatively recently, as in point a. above).
In fact, if Brian Curley can write:
>It's all so obvious. The Red Goddess is dead. There is no White Moon
>as far as anyone can prove. Argrath destroyed the Lunar Empire. Case
>closed. Anything else is idle speculation.
then one can only point out that KoS clearly implies that they're ain't no
Orlanth either. Since the call-to-arms for the Orlanthi was primarily one to
restore Orlanth to His rightful place, then I find it difficult to believe
that the loss of your God -- whether it's because of a great Change in the
relation of the material world to the God Plane or because Orlanth got eaten
by Wakboth -- is going to be viewed as a "victory". The pro-Argrath writer
of _Argrath and the Devil_ can claim that Wakboth was revealed behind the
facade of the Red Goddes, but it is just as easy to say that the writer was
an anti-divine humanist and anti-Lunar who did not realize that Wakboth was
reintroduced into the World because Argrath's Dragons pulled down the Moon
and disrupted the Cosmos, and rejoiced when the gods accidentally sacrificed
themselves because humanity was now free of the Law (in the Lacanian sense, I
suppose; not the most common reaction, if the pining for the days when "the
whole world was good" is any indication) -- which makes some sense IMO as
either a plot by Malkioni intent on ridding the world of the false gods,
which I believe someone else suggested, or as the eventual (secret) intention
of the Moon of Peace: the true end of the Gods War.
Just a few speculations, in Master Brian's parlance. Some of this may have
been addressed in Phillipe's missing Part 1, in which case I apologize if any
of this is instantly refutable.
Relurking (I hope),
Argrath "worship"; "historical fact"
And Argrath was the true savior, as Arachne
Solara was. Each was assisted by a group of being more powerful than
themselves (The Whole Gods host for Arachne Solara, a whole horde of
Dragons for Argrath). Each time the world was changed for the worse,
but the bad change was inevitable once corruption had entered the
Only fools can blame Argrath for the result. And it seems to me that
they are not very numerous in the 4th age. For Argrath is worshipped,
while all the trappings of the Lunar Empire are only dust scattered by
the winds (Give me one sentence from KoS implying that this is not the
case, not counting the rambling about an Invisible Moon, because I have
already dealt with that).
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